Published: March 20, 2001
Pennsylvania Dower Chest Reaches $62,700 at Pook & Pook
DOWNINGTON, PENN. – A 1792 Pennsylvania paint decorated dower chest, several Windsor chairs, a Pennsylvania tall-case clock, and a Chester County, Pa. Queen Anne walnut high chest were among the top lots sold during a recent auction conducted by Pook & Pook , Inc. With more than 500 registered bidders, the auction house grossed just over $1.5 million dollars (including the 10 percent buyer’s premium) during the two-day event.
The Lehigh/Berks County, Pa painted dower chest featured decoration on the front of the case, as well as similarly decorated sides and lid. Bidding rose well above the high estimate of $40,000 to a final price of $62,700.
A pair of Lancaster County, Pa fanback Windsor chairs, circa 1780, with elongated goat feet and an old black painted surface sold for double the estimate at $39,600. Another rare Lancaster County, Pa Windsor side chair with a flattened molded hoop back, goat feet, and an old red painted surface climbed to $18,700, while a Delaware Valley bow-back Windsor armchair from the Floyd Hinden collection, which retained a reddish/brown surface and the brand of “I Seen,” reached $7,700.
A set of late Eighteenth Century Philadelphia Windsor bow-back armchairs made for a corporate collection, circa 1785, were each branded twice “IH” (Joseph Henzey). The set of eight chairs, which sold for $39,600 to a prominent Pennsylvania dealer, were nearly identical to another set made for the Library Company in 1792, which was illustrated in Windsor Style in America, volume II. Even a Pennsylvania painted hooded Windsor cradle, circa 1820, with bamboo turned spindles, cheese cutter rockers, and the original worn yellow paint, proved equally appealing to Windsor collectors, selling for $16,500.
Of the nine tall clocks offered for sale, a Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany tall-case clock, which epitomized Eighteenth Century cabinetmaking, was distinguished by ornate carving attributed to John Pollard on the bonnet. Fitted with an eight-day silvered face works by “John Waldron, Cornhill, London,” the clock drew a final bid of $46,750 from a phone bidder.
An English marquetry inlaid tall-case clock was the earliest clock sold and the lot that probably attracted the most inquiries throughout the weeks leading up to the sale. The square brass dial with a silvered chapter ring inscribed “Wm. Cattell, Londini” was enclosed by a flat top bonnet and narrow case with extensive overall floral and leaf inlay. The very dealer who took it home for $13,200, also purchased a rare 1770 Chester County, Pa Chippendale walnut tall-case clock by Benjamin Chandlee for $35,200. A Pennsylvania mahogany pillar and scroll clock by John Scharf of Snyder County reached $7,150 and an Aaron Willard Federal banjo clock made $3,300.
Among all the tall chests, an Eighteenth Century Chester County Queen Anne walnut example with the initials “E.B”, two stars and the date “1793” in an inlaid barbell shaped cartouche over a drawer with a 10-pointed star and a hidden compartment was the most hotly contested piece. The bidding was between a dealer and a collector on the phone, who won the chest for $47,300. A Pennsylvania Chippendale walnut chest of drawers, circa 1770, from one of the original William Penn grant families of Delaware County made $17,600.
A Chester County, Pa Queen Anne walnut chest on frame sold for $15,400. A small western Pennsylvania decorated pine blanket chest with double stars was signed on the bottom “Daniel Bowman, 1840” and sold for $14,300. A Lancaster County, Pa walnut hanging cupboard with lollipop scrolled sides also sold for $14,300.
Folk art included a colorful American folk art oil on board still life with a reclining cat, a tole tray, a basket of apples, and a bowl of pears, all resting on a table. Expected to reach $2/3,000, it eventually went for $10,450. Just as intriguing to the crowd was the tole painted tin trade sign in the form of a large 31inch high coffee pot. Inscribed “T&K coffee & Tea F.P. Cook” in red and black with yellow scroll designs, the circa 1900 sign went to a dealer in the audience for $15,400.
Another massive piece, a hollow body copper spread winged eagle building ornament, a six foot tall lot likely removed from the Girard Bank of Philadelphia, soared home for $29,700. A colorful American painted double-sided gameboard sold for $3,080 and a group of Fraktur by artists such as Kurtz, Bentz, Brechall, Eshbach, Kuster, Lochbaum, Otto, Palm, Krebs, and Young sold in the $1,045 to $3,850 range. A Pennsylvania painted storage box decorated a central heart centering in the initials “CLG” flanked by two angels, birds and trailing flowers found a new owner for the low estimate of $13,200.
Local Pennsylvania artists commanded most of the above average prices from the display of fine art over the weekend. An oil on canvas winter wonderland by Arthur Meltzer sold to the phone for $11,000. A vibrant autumnal landscape by William Francis Taylor went for $6,876. A small George Cope landscape sold for $4,125. Even a collection of marble and bronze statues by little-known Allentown, Pa artist Daniel Dallacqua faired well. Never previously offered at auction, the 13 sculptures offered averaged just over $720 each (selling from $350 -to $1,540.
A large oil on canvas interior scene depicting a cat sitting on a chair with a parakeet by Phillippe Rousseau reached $27,500. Landscapes by noted artists George Inness, Camille Jean Baptiste Corot, George W. Nicholson, and Hans Andreas Dahl did well selling for $6,325, $4,400, $3,300, and $7,700 respectively. A still life by Tholey went for $3,850. A variety of maps and prints by McKenney and Hall, Birch, and Rossini brought respectable hammer prices.
A Daum Nancy art glass cameo vase decorated with trees in the rain went to a New York dealer for $14,850. Large lots of Eighteenth, Nineteenth Century coins sold mostly to an overseas phone bidder in the $605 to $3,300, while groups of early framed bank notes, fractional and confederate currency sold for $3,410 to $14,300. Two brass scales made by Henry Troemner of Philadelphia were purchased for $5,500 and $3,740. A live steam locomotive model of George the Fifth, together with its tender and sections of track, made by Bassett Lowke, Ltd. sold for $3,740.
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